Despite the fact that I enjoy fast cars (probably has something to do with the horse of my growing-up years having been a barrel racer), I consider myself a fairly responsible driver. That said, a recurring thought likes to dance through my consciousness: what would it feel like if I miscalculated the speed of the oncoming car and…? Would my life keep going –only not being seen?
I have sometimes wondered: what did I just experience? There was that ghostly thing in my parents’ bedroom. And the time when I kept getting haunting shivers in the first house we owned. A nice youth-director lady had pointed out a Bible verse that claimed I could simply stand there and demand that it leave. (I demanded. It left–after a freaky-big shiver from me.) Or the time that I read the book The Secret. I tried the suggested activities, and they seemed to work. I know that I can calm animals by centering my breathing, softening my eyes, and using a soothing voice. Horse-whisperer, right? I tried it once on the golf course with a squirrel. It followed us around for several holes, and I finally had to promise everyone that I would never try THAT again. I passed it all off as coincidence. I am rethinking.
My mission here in the blogging world is try to connect what science knows about love with the way that spirituality experiences love. It is the know vs. experience conundrum. We have sound evidence that when children experience love from day one, their lives turn out much differently–vastly more enjoyable– than if they don’t. I am not advocating permissive parenting. Instead, I am talking about attuned parenting–knowing your child, validating emotions, *validating and supporting their apparent missions, teaching them how to build loving, caring, respectful relationships with others.
My Big, Big Obstacle/My Big, Big Aha
If you have been following my journey at all, you know that I have felt betrayed and shortchanged by my mother. From all accounts, she was a selfish, ambitious person. But she was my mother! Until her dying day, all I ever wanted was for her to notice me, acknowledge me, validate, me — maybe even tell me that she loved me. I never experienced that. I have tried so hard to let that go, but it absolutely goes against everything in my DNA to think that I haven’t been loved in the way children are intended to be loved.
I’ve done the reading, the counseling, the drills, the self-compassion, the mind-practice–all of the DOing. But the hurt has stubbornly remained. To be quite honest, this is all new and fresh–revealing itself in front of your eyes. Our eyes. I suppose you could call it my reality-blog.
Several days ago, when I stumbled across Dr. Matthew McKay’s book, Seeking Jordan, there was no way I could have known or predicted the outcome. All of the thoughts, feelings, suspicions that I had held about my life and my life’s purpose began to bleed black and white across the pages.
- Life here on Earth is painful.
- Pain results in our learning something. (Not sure about you, but when I’m comfortable, I’m not very motivated!)
- Our flaws serve as guides for our missions.
- When I learn something new, it’s more like I am being reminded, not a matter of being exposed to something new and wild and crazy. It is as though I have learned it before, but in a different way.
- With some people, the first time we meet seems more like a reunion, not a first meeting.
- Sometimes, I feel like I am replaying a scene I have already lived.
When McKay connects with his dead son on the other side, he learns that those who have gone are still right here. We can feel them, if we’re open. We can learn from them, if we are willing. We still love each other, and that will never change. Never. We, along with the people we know best, are all in a forever-journey of learning. We show up together-as different actors with different relationships and in a different time and place. Each individual has a mission to learn yet another aspect of how to love deeply. The skill might be compassion, leadership, courage, or care-giving. The whole point is that the universe runs on the energy of love, and we–as individuals AND a collective–are trying to get it better. We want to get it right.
When we know where home is…
Spiritual leaders and prophets have given us glimpses of how this all works. I, for one, have grown quite fond of Jesus’ approach. Unfortunately, in order to get people to listen, the powers-that-be have done what they always do: made rules and enforced rules. But it is starting to make sense now. The only way to internalize right thinking is to learn it through life lessons. I’m sure that I will sound like Ms. Obvious when I say that it takes a lot of lives to work through all of the possibilities. After all, we, in our state of free will, are moving targets. No wonder it takes many lives to accomplish that!
Whether you buy into everything McKay says or not, there is value in thinking this way:
- My mom and I were players, play-acting to practice and find out more about love.
- The pain doesn’t matter. It taught us to love in a different way. We are still bonded, connected and care about each other. We keep going, both this side and that.
- Pain is real, but not catastrophic. It is useful for learning about love.
- Being good isn’t the point. Good is just about following some human’s rules. Learning more about loving is everything.
- Death is not a tragedy. It is part of the process.
- This is not our home. We belong in the place where there is no judgment regarding good and bad. We are single-minded in our mission of learning to perfect the infinitely complex, universal creation-energy of love.
*If you have read this far, you may want to go back and find the words that I marked with the asterisk. They should make a little more sense now. 🙂
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
I am not a licensed therapist and will never claim to be such. I am retired, having worked 20 years as full-time elementary classroom teacher. I’ve taught it all: reading, math, science, and the social studies. (That does NOT mean that I have learned it all!) What I have to offer (and what I have yet to fully understand;)) is a lifetime of experiences and a spaghetti-brain full of randomly-connected information. Most importantly, I care.